want to avoid taking fiscal action that will push the economy back into recession. that was one of the risks that the fiscal cliff posed. the challenge is to achieve long run sustainability without unduly hampering the recovery which we have. the deal that was struck together with the previous work in 2011 that involved some spending cuts made some progress in both of these goals. sustainability still abil over the decade we have seen improvement in the debt to gdp ratio. there's more work to be done, but some progress there. and in the short run, the fiscal cliff deal on new year's eliminated a good bit of the restrictive components of the fiscal policy that would have had such adverse effects. not completely, but at least a good start. there was a bit of progress on both of these goals, very importantly. i hasten to say that we're not out of the woods, because we are approaching a number of other physical and critical watershed's coming up. we've got the funding of the government, the so-called sequestered, which is a set of automatic spending cuts that were delayed by two months
to carry out the agenda i campaigned on. new security for the middle class. right now our economy is growing and our businesses are creating new jobs. we are poised for a good year. if we make smart decisions in sound investments, and as long as i said on the campaign, one component to growing our economy and broadening opportunity for the middle class is shrinking our deficits in a balanced and responsible way. and for nearly two years now, i've been fighting for such a plan -- one that would reduce our deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade, which would stabilize our debt and our deficit in a sustainable way for the next decade. that would be enough not only to stop the growth of our debt relative to the size of our economy, but it would make it manageable so it doesn't crowd out the investments we need to make in people and education and job training and science and medical research -- all the things that help us grow. now, step by step, we've made progress towards that goal. over the past two years, i've signed into law about $1.4 trillion in spending cuts. two weeks ago
public safety less as a share of the economy that has been true for a generation. that is not a recipe for growth. we have to do more to stabilize the finances over the medium and long-term, and also spur more growth in the short term. i have said i am hoping to making modest adjustments to programs like medicare to protect them for future generations. i also said we need more revenue for tax reform by closing loopholes for the wealthiest americans. if we combine a balanced package of savings from spending on health care and revenues from closing loopholes, we consult the deficit issue without sacrificing our investments in things like education that are going to help us grow. it turns out the american people agree with me. they listened to an entire year's debate over this issue, and they made a clear decision about the approach they prefer. they do not think it is fair to ask a senior to pay more for his or her health care or a scientist to shut down like that saving research so that a multi millionaire investor can take less in tax rates then a second trip -- and a secretary.
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